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March in the N&C Midwest!

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  R&R 1011 on 3/28/2014, 1:29 am

@llama momma wrote:I tried to sprinkle some crushed vermiculite into fine powdery stuff, sprinkled over the seeds that were placed in mini blocks.  Thought I did a nice job but it seems I did a bad job.  Germination seems to be much slower than last year.  Still able to up pot a bunch of stuff to the 2" soil blocks to go under lights.  But I need to go back and re-seed some things.  Guess I started early anyway and this set back shouldn't be a big deal. I hope.
This makes me feel better!  What a Face

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  llama momma on 3/28/2014, 5:02 am

R&R
Misery loves company right? Lol. 
I think I sprinkled the fine crushed vermic. too thickly across those seeds. Plus, upon closer inspection the mini soil blocks are drying out more quickly in the center of the flat.  I have two new heat mats that look identical but used just one of them last year, had no issues with it. The heat mat I'm using now might be the second one that's heating unevenly.  Need to switch it out and test the other heat mat.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  R&R 1011 on 3/28/2014, 6:12 am

@llama momma wrote:R&R
Misery loves company right? Lol. 
I think I sprinkled the fine crushed vermic. too thickly across those seeds. Plus, upon closer inspection the mini soil blocks are drying out more quickly in the center of the flat.  I have two new heat mats that look identical but used just one of them last year, had no issues with it. The heat mat I'm using now might be the second one that's heating unevenly.  Need to switch it out and test the other heat mat.
Ive done most of my seeds in store bought seed mix.  I did one cell of just straight vermiculite as a tester.  I planted coleus in it and so far 1 little guy has come up.  Not a fan of using verm. as a seed starter.  I may try MM as a seed starter next year.  My seedlings took off last year when I up potted them in MM.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  bonnie0128 on 3/28/2014, 7:24 am

@landarch wrote:I would gladly help others with landscape design but my lack of time would be a dis-service compared to working with someone local...master gardener programs can be a big help...or visit a local arboretum or garden center and start accumulating thoughts in a book of plant characteristics you like...then there is nothing wrong with going slowly.  The key is to choose the proper plant for the proper location (sun, soils, exposure, etc).

Thanks!  I'm just going to throw some MM down and various plants/flowers and see how it goes.  Eventually I'll likely have to invest in some smaller trees/shrubs but that isn't in the budget this year.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  bonnie0128 on 3/28/2014, 7:27 am

R&R 1011 wrote:
My seedlings took off last year when I up potted them in MM.

Good to know!  I'm still trying to decide what I want to use.  A small bag of seed starting mix is $5 at WalMart, which seems expensive compared to MM.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  llama momma on 3/28/2014, 7:48 am

Imho I think seed starting mix is simply finely screened material with some nutrition in it. Easy for seeds to push through.  
We direct sow in the chunkier Mel's Mix anyway for some outdoor seeding.  I've been using the crazy expensive 512 starting mix from Johnny's.  Think I've had enough of that stuff and ready to make my own fine screened material when this current bag is empty.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  jimmy cee on 3/28/2014, 8:26 am

Since seed mix price has increased, quantity decreased and I have gained much confidence in my compost, I've decided to go all the way this year with MM.
Even used last seasons seeds, about a 10% no/germination. Just reseeded.
The lamps used are just typical daylight at about 12- 14 hrs a day. bottom watering, along with a very weak solution of fish emulsion twice a week.
Happy I did as I am very pleased with my results.
I fine screen my compost, and peat moss, and use fine vermiculite, as you can see it's successful.

broccoli & romaine
kohlrabi
herbs

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  landarch on 3/28/2014, 8:32 am

I did some seeding in 128 cell flats...usually the middle sags and the inner portions stay too wet and the outer portions tend to dry out quickly.  My pepper germination was best in the outer, drier portions.

To solve this, I put some wood shims in the center of the flat to keep the middle from sagging.  You would think that this would even out the moisture, then I would get 6-7 random cells that would stay almost bone dry when all cells around them were saturated.  I did not like the consistency of purchased soil starting mix...never have this problem with the jiffy peat pellets.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  llama momma on 3/28/2014, 8:42 am

Excellent pictures Jimmy, that does it, screened MM is next since I love my compost too!

Landarch, ok so maybe the weight distribution is cockeyed with this flat I'm using and raising up the center a bit and away from the mat.  Thanks for your insight, maybe I just need to adjust things.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  sanderson on 3/28/2014, 3:14 pm

Seedling trays are so flimsy. This year, I bought enough to double up. I cut pieces of corrugated cardboard* to fit inside half the trays, then stacked a second one on top of each for the seedling pots and watering. They were sturdy enough to pick up and move around as needed.

PS *DH wanted to throw away a large cardboard shipping box and I said no, I'm sure I will find a use!

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  jmsieglaff on 3/28/2014, 7:54 pm

Tomato seeds are planted!  Still awaiting germination on the sweet peppers--any day now.  The hot peppers are slowly growing/germinating under the lights.  Let spring begin!

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  Goosegirl on 3/28/2014, 8:20 pm

Just checked my seedlings - tomatoes are up to 29 of 30 cells germinated.  Of 12 cells of peppers, 6 are just starting to poke up little upside-down U stems.  One is even straight and sporting seed leaves!

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  jmsieglaff on 3/30/2014, 8:56 am

@landarch wrote:Well, I moved a bed today that had a few squares of garlic that was planted last fall...transplanted to the new bed.

I think all went well...new green tops were growing and decent sized root systems for each plant...root masses with soil were large than a grapefruit.  Mel's Mix is so friable that it wasn't easy to keep the roots undisturbed.  Only time will tell.
How is your transplanted garlic doing?  I had to move a few plants yesterday, they were just poking through the ground, maybe 1/4" tall.  I was surprised how big the root system grew last fall.  It was easy to dig enough of the root system so I think the ones I moved will be just fine.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  Goosegirl on 3/30/2014, 9:30 am

@Goosegirl wrote:Just checked my seedlings - tomatoes are up to 29 of 30 cells germinated.  Of 12 cells of peppers, 6 are just starting to poke up little upside-down U stems.  One is even straight and sporting seed leaves!

GG
Just checked again - 9 peppers up! 3 to go!


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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  Goosegirl on 3/30/2014, 6:18 pm

Well, it is currently a gorgeous 63F and I decided to get out into the garden to clean it up a bit before the blizzard (yes, I said the B-word!) hits tomorrow. Went to pull up the corn stalks I didn't get cleaned out before winter hit in mid-October last season. NOPE!!! Ground still FROZEN SOLID under the layer of leaves that had blown in around the corn stalks. I do have some bare boxes that are thawing nicely, but I have to remind myself that it really is too early still!

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  R&R 1011 on 3/30/2014, 6:30 pm

It better be the last of the snow in Ohio because I just planted carrots, lettuce, spinach, and peas.  I planted my snap peas a week or 2 ago and no sprouts.    

Like 3 of my peppers have germinated, so Im going to reseed them.  I did plant up most of my tomatoes, broccoli, & cabbage today though. Smile

My compost bin was still frozen last time I checked.

I swear I read somewhere that you can plant sugar snaps fairly early, but now Im reading they need warmer soil.  Ah, so much to learn.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  Goosegirl on 3/31/2014, 7:16 pm

Hope all in the N&C Midwest are faring this wicked storm well. Our county is currently under a Civil Emergency Message requesting NO TRAVEL due to the freezing rain, sleet, snow, and blowing snow. The sleet is currently coming down so heavily that through the window it looks like a whiteout, is coating the ground white like snow, but the pinging pellets hitting the house and windows confirms sleet and not the powdery stuff! The thunder is also so loud that my cats and I can feel it vibrating the furniture. Stay inside, stay warm, stay safe all!

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  landarch on 3/31/2014, 9:55 pm

I think my garlic transplanted well...massive root systems with healthy, growing green tops.  I also planted sugar snap peas last week and beet seeds and onion sets went in last Wednesday.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  jwesley on 4/1/2014, 9:13 am

I'll be transplanting sowing several things this weekend.  Hopefully the grow!  Sorry to hear about the heavy sleet in the NE.... it has to end at some point... right???

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  jmsieglaff on 4/16/2014, 10:26 pm

@landarch wrote:I think my garlic transplanted well...massive root systems with healthy, growing green tops.  I also planted sugar snap peas last week and beet seeds and onion sets went in last Wednesday.
I can second your transplanting garlic works very well.  The cloves I transplanted are doing great!  Garlic might be a hard thing to kill the more I've grown it.

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

Post  landarch on 4/16/2014, 10:58 pm

I transplanted another couple squares of garlic this evening...total of five squares growing well.  If I harvest in June the squares should be available for fall crops of carrots, beets, cauliflower, etc. 

My SFG is will look like a salsa garden by summer (tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, garlic, cilantro).

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Re: March in the N&C Midwest!

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